In the Forest
Shay stepped in front of me and shoved me behind him. He was really hurt and bled a lot but he was ready if Archer tried anything.
I could see Archer standing tall in the shadows. He didn't seem to have as much as a scratch on him. But his bow was on his back along with his arrows. He didn't look like someone who was here to hurt us but I didn't dare take any chances.
We just stood there for a few moments, looking at each other. Archer look was empty. Like he was staring out into nothing. He didn't look like the Archer I knew at all. His hair was short and flat and not nearly as rich as it used to be. He was also thinner than the last time I saw him.
Shay took a step closer to him but Archer didn't move one bit. "What the hell?" Shay whispered. And he was right. Archer would have pulled his bow instantly if he had felt threatened.
"Archer?" I called quietly. He didn't react at all. His lifeless eyes just kept staring. I wasn't even sure that he was staring at us.
I snuck around Shay to get closer. "Rieka!" Shay whispered harshly. He didn't want me to go closer but the second he took a step in my direction, he had to bend down because of his abdomen.
I stopped walking and looked back. "Shay!" I shouted and ran to him again. He probably had internal bleeding and I knew that I had to get him away from here. Archer was perfectly capable of taking care of himself. Though I wasn't so sure about his current condition.
Shay grabbed my hand. "Please... Please don't go closer, " he said with his teeth clenching in pain. I nodded. "Let's get you to a hospital, Shay, " I said and tried to help him to his feet.
I heard a thump behind me as if something large and heavy had fallen to the ground. I turned my head around and saw that large and heavy thing had been Archer. He had tipped over and faceplanted the ground.
"Archer!" I shouted, totally forgetting why I shouldn't go near him. He might have seemed completely unharmed facing us but the large hole in the back of his head and bite marks along his entire back told a different story.
Even Shay had forced his head to tilt upwards so he could see what had made me freeze. "I..." I mumbled to Shay but he interrupted me before I could continue. "Go, " he said. "I will be fine. I'm a wolf after all. I can see you and if he tries anything, I will rip his throat out." He might be hurt but he was still smirking like he usually did when he was bragging or teasing.
I didn't really find it funny at the moment. I was worried enough already. I nodded and helped him to the tree before I jumped to Archer.
It had been so long since I saw him. The short hair had made him look so much more mature. I wondered if his personality had changed as much as his appearance. Seeing his injuries up close I also started to wonder if I would ever get to know the answer to those questions.
"Archer...?" I whispered and touched his shoulder. He wasn't reacting but I could feel him breathing. Not great but he was breathing. "He is alive, Shay, " I said with the lowest voice I believed that he was still able to hear. He nodded as confirmation that he heard me.
"We need to get you somewhere safe, " I whispered to Archer, not knowing if he was able to hear me. I was just about to go back to Shay to discuss what we were to do but Archer suddenly grabbed my hand and pulled me down again.
"Archer!" I whispered in surprise. "... Har... Harvey..." He whispered very quietly in extreme extortion. Did he say, Harvey? Harvey was around here? Was he hurt?
His hand let go and fell to the ground again. I ran to Shay. "Shay! Harvey is around here somewhere. I have to find him." Shay's expression almost turned wild. "Rieka, no. You can't go out there by yourself. The rogues are still around!" He persisted.
"I have to, Shay. We can't do this without Harvey! The battle is already lost if we lose him. Besides, I'm strong. Stronger than you think. I can handle a few rogues," I said and smiled.
Shay finally gave in. He knew I was right but the fact that he couldn't be beside me hurt him more than his injuries.
I helped Shay take care of Archer. Shay was an Alpha and that meant that his injuries healed faster than normal wolves.
He had enough energy to carry Archer home by himself and I turned towards the forest to look for Harvey.
I looked for hours until I finally found a glimpse of white. My hair colour and Harvey's.
I stopped running and slowly walked closer. He was laying down with his back towards me. I could see him breathing but he was not moving.
"Harvey..." I whispered under my breath. I took one more step towards him and my mind started screaming. Everything before my eyes turned white. The high pitch sound was so loud that it affected my vision.
It was so bad that I had to scream. Then everything went quiet. I fumbled around without being able to see. I couldn't hear anything. Not even the wind howling in the trees. Everything was quiet.
Then a voice penetrated the silence. "Rieka..." I knew that voice. I had heard it before in a dream.
My heart started beating uncontrollably fast. I was breathing just as fast. I was hyperventilating. I was so scared. The voice was still echoing in my head.
Suddenly, I started hearing the leaves again. I heard the wind and my sight started returning. The voice was gone but the chill down my spine only got stronger.
He was here.
I barely had the thought before something large appeared from the shadows and attacked me.
I fell to the ground and could only see a large amount of fur. But it wasn't completely wolf. It had hands with claws and it had been standing on its hind legs.
"Diana...?" It whispered.